Students, faculty and alumni will once again see little blue tags taking over the campus, to represent areas and programs within the Geneseo experience that would not be possible without the help of private donations. Thank A Giver Day, known colloquially as TAG Day and represented by blue tags that read, “Thank you Geneseo Donors!” will take place on Friday April 25, just in time for this spring’s alumni weekend.
TAG Day is organized through the Make Your Mark! Student Giving Challenge, which encourages current students to begin their support of Geneseo before they graduate. Assistant Director of Young Alumni and Student Giving David Arduin ‘12 is spearheading the initiative.
“It is our one major day out of the year where we take the time to thank all the donors who make everything that happens on this campus possible,” Arduin said.
This is TAG Day’s fourth year, and this year’s alumni weekend date in particular makes for a larger impact on the student and alumni communities than in previous years.
“This is really Make Your Mark’s day… and it really falls on a unique weekend this year, with it being alumni weekend, volunteer weekend and the President’s Donor Dinner. So all these great [alumni] who give their money and their time will be here to see our tags and the current students appreciation,” he said.
As of now, TAG Day has had great success in increasing alumni participation in donor programs. While TAG Day is not the sole cause of the growing numbers, Arduin feels that it has had a huge impact on what alumni think when they donate.
“It’s one thing for someone who gives to know that their money is going somewhere meaningful, it’s another to know that, not only is it meaningful, but that current students, faculty and staff are extremely grateful that they’re giving back to the cause,” he said.
“Our alumni participation rate was about 8 percent two years ago, 11.4 percent last year, and we’re really trying to hit 13-14 percent this year. So in the world of college advancement, for alumni participation rate to almost double in two years is unheard of. We’re doing great things around here and TAG day is certainly one of our biggest events,” Arduin said.
The tags are distributed through a collaborative effort of students who have directly felt the effects of private donations, recipients of donor-sponsored scholarships, ambassadorships and research, as well as many athletes. Make Your Mark! also has a student philanthropy committee that does a lot of logiastical work.
“We have 20 to 30 people who really do a hands on effort; picking up tags and placing them on things that are really made possible by donors, we also paint the window in the [College Union], and we’ll be painting the Greek tree in ‘donor blue’ and tabling in the College Union,” Arduin said.
For this year, Arduin and the administration are hoping to eclipse last year in terms of the number of donors, student and alumni, and total funds raised. Make Your Mark! raised over $7,000 from more than 500 student donors last year. With roughly one month left in the semester, this year has 406 student donors who have currently donated $5,882. Both figures include the senior gifts from their respective graduating classes.
“I really hope the students on campus take the time to look around at all the tags and really appreciate donors, as tuition and state funding only go so far to keep things running,” Arduin said. “What really makes Geneseo, Geneseo are the private donations that we receive.”